re·​tic·​u·​late | \ ri-ˈti-kyə-lət How to pronounce reticulate (audio) , -ˌlāt \

Definition of reticulate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : resembling a net or network especially : having veins, fibers, or lines crossing a reticulate leaf
2 : being or involving evolutionary change dependent on genetic recombination involving diverse interbreeding populations


re·​tic·​u·​late | \ ri-ˈti-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce reticulate (audio) \
reticulated; reticulating

Definition of reticulate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to divide, mark, or construct so as to form a network municipalities that reticulate electricity to consumers

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Other Words from reticulate


reticulately adverb

Did You Know?


Though "reticulate" is used in many contexts, it finds particular use in the field of biology. "Reticulate" comes from the Latin word reticulum, meaning "small net." It first appeared in English in the mid-1600s and was used in connection with the study of plants even back then. Scientists use "reticulate" to describe a net-like formation of veins, fibers, or lines that crosses something. For example, a leaf with a pattern of veins that resembles a net would be called a "reticulate leaf."

Examples of reticulate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Kenya’s national parks and reserves cover just 8 percent of the country, and most big mammals—including almost all reticulated giraffes—live outside them. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "The Last Giraffes on Earth," 13 Mar. 2020 The front wing is gray with black spots and the wings tips are reticulated black blocks outlined in gray. Beth Burger, Columbus Dispatch,, "This destructive insect is getting close to the Ohio border; what to know," 24 Jan. 2020 An autopsy found that Laura Hurst was killed Wednesday by an 8-foot reticulated python in a home that police said was filled with 140 snakes. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "What we know about an Indiana woman's death from python strangulation," 1 Nov. 2019 The record for longest snake living in captivity is held by a 25-foot, 2-inch reticulated python named Medusa, who is owned by Full Moon Productions Inc. in Kansas City, Mo., according to the Guinness World Records website. Fox News, "200-pound Florida python named 'Ginormica' could reach world-record size, zoo official says," 17 July 2019 Maybe not this one, but reticulated pythons are considered the snake most likely to eat a human, the museum says. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "Celebrate World Snake Day by looking at this massive python, which could soon be a world record setter," 16 July 2019 For a $3 ticket, guests can feed a carrot stick one of the zoo's reticulated giraffes. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "7 up-close animal experiences at the Indianapolis Zoo," 5 July 2019 Fifty-four-year-old Wa Tiba was checking on her home vegetable garden when she was believed to have been attacked by a 23-foot reticulated python. National Geographic, "Python Swallows Woman Whole—What Experts Say About the Rare Attack," 18 June 2018 Tribun News Video screenshot The plantation is located near a rocky area of the Indonesian island, with caves and cliffs locals believe to be home to many giant reticulated pythons, the Associated Press reported. Matthew Martinez, miamiherald, "A woman in Indonesia went to check her corn — and was swallowed by a 25-foot python," 16 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reticulate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of reticulate


1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1728, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for reticulate


Latin reticulatus, from reticulum


back-formation from reticulated, adjective, reticulate

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The first known use of reticulate was in 1658

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Cite this Entry

“Reticulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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